American basketball player Brittney Griner, who has been in a Russian pre-trial detention center since February on charges of drug smuggling, wrote a handwritten letter to US President Joe Biden asking him not to forget about her and do everything possible to free her. Reuters writes about it.
“Sitting here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts, without the protection of a wife, family, friends, an Olympic uniform, without any achievements, I am afraid that I can stay here forever,” she wrote in a letter, excerpts from which were shared its representatives.
The White House said they had received the letter and were working on getting Greiner home.
Greiner is called one of the best modern basketball players. She is a two-time Olympian and two-time World Champion, as well as the Women's NBA Champion. In America, she played in the Phoenix Mercury team. Between seasons, the athlete traveled to Russia and played in the Premier League for the Yekaterinburg club UMMC to earn money, writes the BBC.
On February 17, 2022, Greiner was detained at Sheremetyevo Airport. The basketball players found a vape in their hand luggage, and hash oil in the cartridges for it. A case was opened against Greiner under part 2 of article 229 of the Criminal Code (smuggling of narcotic drugs in a significant amount). On this charge, she faces up to ten years in prison. Since February, the athlete has been in the Khimki pre-trial detention center. On July 1, the trial of the case began.
Greiner's case received wide resonance in the United States. Before the start of the trial, hundreds of her supporters published an open letter calling on the Biden administration to make a deal that would allow the athlete to return to the United States.
Earlier, the NYT wrote that Russian media began to directly link the Greiner case with the case of Russian Viktor Bout, who was sentenced in the United States to 25 years in prison for illegal arms trafficking. In particular, the TASS agency published a note stating that negotiations on the exchange were already underway. However, NYT sources did not confirm this information.